A divorce in Florida is a serious legal matter with many implications for spouses, children and property. It can be complicated and emotional to navigate, and it may require a lawyer’s assistance if issues are complex or there is disagreement. However, spouses who choose to file their own divorce can save money by filing online instead of hiring a family law attorney. However, spouses should know that there are risks associated with doing so and be aware of the different options available for online divorce.
The first step is to fill out the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This forms sets forth the issues that both spouses wish to address in court, such as property division and alimony. Spouses must also complete a financial declaration. This document shows how much each spouse earned, what assets they owned and how much debt they had. The petition and supporting documents must be signed, notarized and filed with the county clerk’s office. Typically, filing fees are around $410. It is possible to get a fee waiver if needed.
After the papers are filed, spouses must wait 20 days for a judge to review their case. This time is used to allow both parties to review their agreements and determine if they need to change them. If spouses are still in agreement, they can request a final hearing to get their divorce decree signed by the judge.
If spouses cannot reach an agreement on any of the divorce issues, their case will become contested. To avoid a contested divorce, couples must make sure they agree on all issues including how property and debts are to be divided and if one or both spouses will receive alimony.
A contested divorce can be more difficult to handle and will usually require both spouses to attend a final hearing. The judge will listen to both sides of the story, consider evidence and make a decision on all remaining issues. Spouses should be prepared to answer questions from the judge and provide any additional information that is necessary.
It is important for spouses to understand how Florida’s divorce laws will impact their individual cases. Some factors that can affect the process include whether both parties are able to agree on all issues, how long the marriage has been ending and if children are involved.
It is also important for spouses to understand the difference between a regular and simplified divorce in Florida. The type of divorce will impact the set of forms that must be filed. If spouses want to save money and time, they should consider using an Florida divorce online service that will help them prepare all of the required paperwork and ensure that it is accepted by the court. These services are often cheaper than hiring an attorney and will offer a guarantee that their paperwork will be accepted or they will refund the service fee. In addition, these services provide instructions and a legal expert on call to answer any questions.